This year marks the 100th anniversary of Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii initiating his whisky enterprise in Yamazaki. In honour of this significant milestone, the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery in Osaka has recently reopened to the public following a period of renovations. The recent overhaul enhances the visitor experience, offering a deeper exploration of the Yamazaki Distillery's legacy through enriched tours and tastings.
The whisky museum and tasting lounge
At the historic Yamazaki Whisky Museum, which has stood since the distillery's inception, you can find exhibits showcasing the meticulous process behind the creation of one of the world's most coveted Japanese whiskies.
The reinvigorated tasting lounge, on the other hand, is encircled by a vast array of original bottles. This particular spot is a haven for whisky aficionados. Here, you can savour not only the iconic Suntory Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki but also other exclusive whiskies available solely at this location.
There are two distillery tours to choose from. And since spaces are limited, tickets are available via a lottery system.
- Yamazaki Distillery Craftsmanship Tour
Duration: 80 minutes
Although this is the shorter of the two options, this tour offers whisky lovers a decent overview of the facility, where you can learn about the meticulous process behind whisky-making, view the casks used for ageing the spirit, and sample whiskies that aren't available on the commercial market. As a memento, you can take home an exclusive Yamazaki tasting glass.
- Yamazaki Distillery Prestige Craftsmanship Tour
Duration: 120 minutes
Go a step further with exclusive access to areas reserved for the Prestige tour, where you'll be able to view the whisky production area and see the artisans at work. Tastings include the luxurious Yamazaki 12 Years and other rare malt whiskies.
For international tourists, rest assured that both tours are available with English-speaking guides. For more details and to plan your visit, see the distillery's website.
This article was originally published on October 16 2023 and updated on January 24 2024.
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